Love English

Open Dictionary word of the week: partner betweenness

partner betweenness (noun)

a situation when a female partner comes between her male partner and his friends, which then causes problems in the male-female relationship.

The study found partner betweenness undermines men’s feelings of autonomy and privacy, which are central to traditional concepts of masculinity.

(Submitted from the United Kingdom)

We’ve been talking quite a bit over the last week about how words get into the dictionary … and why some don’t. This will never get into a dictionary will it? And surely it won’t trend? It’s so clumsy. It sounds strangely existentialist as well. Partner betweenness. ‘We have a situation of partner betweeness’ must surely be followed by this question: ‘What?’ After which the response must be the definition: ‘my partner has come between me and my friends, which has caused problems in our relationship’. I’ve left out the male-female relationship bit, but is that right? Forgetting the clumsy noun, is this a male-female thing? Doesn’t it happen in same-sex relationships or is there just another word for it? Also, is it always a female getting in the way? There must be a better term. Ideas? I mean, if you go in for this sort of sexism.


Email this Post Email this Post

About the author


Laine Redpath Cole

1 Comment

  • Betweenness is not a new word. “Partner betweenness” is nothing more than the sum of its parts and the way it is benoted in the byspel, I’d put a hyphen: partner-betweenness.

Leave a Comment